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Cars & Couture Fashion Show

Bringing high-end fashion to Tacoma

Dream Dresses by P.M.N will present “White Dress” on model Vlada Davidian at the upcoming Cars & Couture Fashion Show at LeMay ??" America’s Car Museum. Photo credit: Jared Ribic

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Bold colors, long lines and rippling curves from one end to the other.

We're not just talking about high-end cars, we're talking about high-end couture fashion as well. And on July 22, residents across the South Puget Sound will have the opportunity to appreciate the visual beauty of both at the Cars & Couture Fashion Show at Lemay - America's Car Museum (ACM) in Tacoma.

"This is a way to bring more fashion to the Tacoma area, to bring in high-end fashion," said David Bailey, the creator and executive producer of Cars & Couture. "I want people to have a great experience. We have a lot of great designers in and around the region, and we want to showcase some of the best couture designers in the Northwest."

The Cars & Couture Fashion Show is the first of its kind in the Puget Sound area. The European-style show will include five couture fashion designers from the northwestern U.S., including Carole McClellan, Dawnamatrix, Dream Dresses by P.M.N, Gustavo Apiti Couture and Lisa Marie Couture. Accessory designers include Namiko Abloom, Opearl Brands and the Victoria Stowe Collection. The fashion show will be emceed by Juliet Dang and DJ'd by Nelson Estrada. Audiences will also be able to visit designer booths and take red-carpet photos during the event.

Bailey heads Fashion District NW, an organization that works to connect and educate Northwest fashion communities. He designed the Cars & Couture fashion show with Lemay - ACM's "Exotics@ACM - Seductive Supercars" exhibit in mind. The exhibit opened last May and includes 19 supercars from around the world, including Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes and Porsche vehicles on loan from private owners across Washington state.

LeMay - ACM, which opened in 2012, is a 165,000-square-foot museum that promotes America's automotive heritage through education, preservation and restoration.

"The LeMay car museum is a flagship venue," said Bailey. "I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do the show there. There's a lot of history behind cars and fashion. The connection is very strong, and that's something the designers are very excited about."

The designers presenting at the show will offer a variety of traditional and nontraditional fashion styles. Carole McLellan Atelier creates custom men's and women's wear from repurposed leather, cashmere and fur, while Dawnamatrix works exclusively with latex and rubber. Both designers are based out of Seattle.

Dream Dresses by P.M.N makes couture bridal gowns in Sammamish, and Gustavo Apiti, another Seattle-based designer, creates custom menswear. Lisa Marie Couture can be found in Edmonton and specializes in evening and bridal garments.

"This is a unique style of fashion show," Bailey said."It will include weaving in and out of cars and will be quite a bit different than most fashion shows. It's an amazing venue for fashion, and the museum has been very, very helpful."

Born and raised in Puyallup, Bailey started working in the fashion industry as a photographer in 2009, then began producing fashion shows in the Seattle area in 2013. "I've (always) wanted to bring high fashion to Tacoma," he said. "There really hasn't been much here."

Bailey has also worked at Fashion Week in Vancouver and Seattle and with fashion experts in Portland. He will begin planning another fashion show for 2018 in September.

Cars & Couture Fashion Show, 7-9 p.m., Saturday, July 22, 6:30 p.m. doors open, Lemay - America's Car Museum, 2702 East D St., Tacoma, tickets are $25-$45 in advance and $5 more at the door,

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Brian Regan

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